Seattle Times grab

Gabe Marks channels his inner Mike Leach when asked about Wazzu's 'quirky' Air Raid, and 'system' offense

FORGET ABOUT the 40 time. It's far more interesting to just put a microphone in front of Gabe Marks and listen to him channel his inner Mike Leach. At the NFL combine on Friday, the Cougar receiver was asked a question where the reporter made the mistake of calling WSU’s Air Raid offense “quirky.”

“It’s not quirky, man,’’ Gabe Marks shot back according to the Seattle Times. “There is nothing quirky about the offense. We just throw the ball a lot. But everyone throws the ball. We run the same routes as everybody. We’re not running like ‘okay, run to the flag pole over there and then turn around at the car and I’ll throw it to you.’’’

Leach has strongly objected in the past to the Air Raid being a “system offense” the implication being that it artificially inflates stats and numbers.  Marks, who caught 316 passes at WSU to become the all-time leading receiver in the history of the Pac-12, sounded just like his former head coach on Friday at the combine.

“Guys are trying to call us ‘system receivers’ like that’s a thing,’’ Marks said. “It’s not a thing. You’ve still got to do it. It doesn’t matter the system that you are in. You’ve still got to catch the ball. Somebody has to catch the ball and score the touchdowns. If you just put some guy out there that couldn’t play, it wouldn’t work. I just get an opportunity to catch more passes — I can understand that. But I’m still getting open. So the whole ‘system receiver’ thing kind of bothers me a little bit.’’

The subject of dropped passes also came up.

“I hear a lot of things about like I drop a lot of balls and stuff and it’s like ‘I can’t count that many (that he dropped),’’ he said. “I don’t know where these things come from that I drop a lot of passes. That’s like the ultimate thing for receivers and it’s like ‘what do you mean?’ My hands are a really important deal to me, you know? So when I hear somebody say that my hands suck it’s like ‘You suck. What are you saying?’’’

The NFL combine is sometimes derisively referred to as 'The Underwear Olympics' because of all the testing.  It doesn't sound like Marks was a fan.

The media buzz surrounding Marks’ 40 time on Saturday will go a long way in helping determining his draft slotting. Marks said something in the low 4.5 range would be “solid.”  Marks also quipped that if he somehow put a time in the 4.4 range he might consider a change in career -- from football to track and field.

“I’m at the Combine, one of the best senior players in the country, I had a really good career, Washington State fans like me, you know what I mean? I’ve just got to make another team like me now. ‘’

Here’s a little more of Marks:

For the Seattle Times article, click here.

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